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Benefits of creating a learning culture & 8 tips to get started

As we wrap up the year, it’s hard not to reflect on what has changed in the world of work in 2020. Remote work has become standard and many people predict that this will be a lasting change, organisations have had to shift their focus almost overnight  and quick adoption of technology has become even more crucial.

But would you believe us if we told you there was a way that learning could actually help you address a lot of these changes? Or more specifically, that taking the time to create a learning culture can help with a range of business needs and put you in a strong position to move forward.

What is a learning culture?

A learning culture, according to The Corporate Executive Board, is an environment that supports an open mindset, an independent quest for knowledge and embraces shared learning directed towards the goals of the organisation.

Benefits of a learning culture

A learning culture not only values learning but also puts learning in the hands of everyone across the company. For many organisations, this is a large shift in the way learning and development is approached, but there are many benefits for those that make the switch.

  1. Encouraging knowledge sharing and collaboration - In many traditional organisations, teams function independently and employees may benefit from holding onto information. In an organisation that values a learning culture though, knowledge is freely shared amongst individuals and across departments. This can lead to a stronger team relationships and can promote innovation and growth.

  2. Increasing business efficiency and results - This is an obvious one, but it’s still worth mentioning. By encouraging ongoing training and skill development, organisations can ensure their employees are able to meet their existing needs, address any shortcomings as well as begin to future proof their workforce.

  3. Developing leadership skills across the organisation - By putting learning in the hands of your entire organisation, organisations can identify potential employees who may be suitable for promotions and provide them the training in advance, guiding succession planning.

  4. Improving employee morale and engagement - The reality is many employees want development opportunities and offering them this can grow loyalty. As the point above suggests, it can help organisations to promote from within and lower recruitment costs while also lowering turn over.

  5. Helping employees to embrace and adapt quickly to change - Particularly in the last 12 months, adaptability has been invaluable. When organisations have a culture of learning, they encourage innovation and challenge rigid thoughts - all positive traits when you need flexibility!

Tips to Get Started!

If you’re looking to develop a culture of learning, here are our top tips to get started

  1. Take stock of where you are - Take time to evaluate your existing culture and learning programs to identify where your focus should be. This might be about developing more content, finding ways to speed up your content development process or you may need to focus on a behavioural change to aid adoption.

  2. Lead from above and communicate your why - Creating a learning culture requires your entire leadership team to be on board, from the CEO down to middle management. Focus on promoting the change to this group of people and give them the knowledge they need to communicate why you’re doing this. This will increase the chance that employees feel comfortable with the change and engage with it

  3. Tie your learning to organisational goals - As you start to develop your learning objectives and outcomes, make sure you take the time to tie these to your organisational goals. This alignment will help to give additional purpose to your learning and heighten the benefits experienced. 

  4. Recognise and reward the employees who get involved - As with any cultural change, the process can be slower than you’d like. To help address this, highlight the achievements of employees who do engage.

  5. Focus on encouraging creativity and innovations - Creativity and innovation are fundamental to any learning culture. This more flexible mindset is a benefit of the culture, but simply encouraging employees to be creative and think outside of the box can also help adoption as well. 

  6. Allow teams and individuals to set their own learning goals - While there should be organisational goals around your learning culture, giving employees some autonomy and allowing them to decide their own will further boost their engagement. 

  7. Encourage peer learning opportunities - Just like giving employees the power to decide some of their learning goals, encouraging peer learning opportunities can further engage your employees. Remember too, this doesn’t necessarily need to be work related. Providing opportunities for employees to teach other skills such as languages they speak can also emphasise the culture further. 

  8. Integrate your learning platform - Even the best plans can fall apart if you make it too hard for your learners to actually complete their learning. Take the time to place your learning where it is most logical and in the format that best suits it. 

 

Jenn Rogers
14 April 2021 3 Min Read

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